Russell Doubleday

The conductor stood at the end of the train, watch in hand, and at the moment when the hands indicated the appointed hour he leisurely climbed aboard and pulled the whistle cord. A sharp, penetrating hiss of escaping air answered the pull, and the train moved out of the great train-shed in its race against time. It was all so easy and comfortable that the passengers never thought of the work and study that had been spent to produce the result.

Every boy and almost every man has longed to ride on a locomotive, and has dreamed of holding the throttle-lever and of feeling the great machine move under him in answer to his will. Many of us have protested vigorously that we wanted to become grimy, hard-working firemen for the sake of having to do with the “iron horse.”

It is this joy of control that comes to the driver of an automobile which is one of the motor-car's chief attractions: it is the longing of the boy to run a locomotive reproduced in the grown-up.

In 1807, the first practical steamboat puffed slowly up the Hudson, while the people ranged along the banks gazed in wonder. Even the grim walls of the Palisades must have been surprised at the strange intruder. Robert Fulton's Clermont was the forerunner of the fleets upon fleets of power-driven craft that have stemmed the currents of a thousand streams and parted the waves of many seas.

Forming the outside boundary of Great South Bay, Long Island, a long row of sand-dunes faces the ocean. In summer groups of laughing bathers splash in the gentle surf at the foot of the low sand-hills, while the sun shines benignly over all. The irregular points of vessels' sails notch the horizon as they are swept along by the gentle summer breezes. Old Ocean is in a playful mood, and even children sport in his waters.

Some Strange Subjects and How They Were Taken

In the old days when Rome was supreme a Caesar decreed that a bridge should be built to carry a military road across a valley, or ordered that great stone arches should be raised to conduct a stream of water to a city; and after great toil, and at the cost of the lives of unnumbered labourers, the work was done—so well done, in fact, that much of it is still standing, and some is still doing service.

During the early part of the Spanish-American war a fleet of vessels patrolled the Atlantic coast from Florida to Maine. The Spanish Admiral Cervera had left the home waters with his fleet of cruisers and torpedo-boats and no one knew where they were. The lookouts on all the vessels were ordered to keep a sharp watch for strange ships, and especially for those having a warlike appearance.

What Happens When You Talk into a Telephone Receiver

A Typesetting Machine That Makes Mathematical Calculations


One midsummers day a fleet of United States war-ships were lying at anchor in Guantanamo Bay, on the southern coast of Cuba. The sky was cloudless, and the tropic sun shone so fiercely on the decks that the bare-footed Jackies had to cross the unshaded spots on the jump to save their feet.

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